Gateway to Pacific Rim underpinned by fast-track practical help from local Chamber of Commerce
Although Singapore is relatively small at only 710 square kilometres and a population of just above five million, its influence as an international business location is significant.
With English as its main language for trade, a democratic political system and a stable government, Singapore has grown to become the commercial gateway to The Pacific Rim and China and a substantial international trading centre in its own right.
Singapore's economy is dynamic and relatively open to international trade across many sectors. Its port is among the largest in the world. About 8,800 EU companies are established in Singapore and many use it as a hub to serve the Pacific Rim.
The country’s open approach to world trade is epitomised by the forging of a close working partnership between the British Chamber of Commerce Singapore (BCCS) and chambers of commerce in the UK, including Chamber International.
The practical support available through this partnership, part of a wider Overseas Business Network Initiative between UKTI and BCCS, means that businesses assisted by Chamber International will be able to access a range of fast-track bespoke support in Singapore, including being able to ‘hot-desk’ at the BCCS premises, meet hand-picked local companies, attend trade shows and access local professional advisers.
Singapore is also by far the EU's largest trading partners in Southeast Asia. The country is also the EU's 13th largest trading partner overall, for trade in goods, and the EU's largest trading partner in the Association of South-East Nations (ASEAN). EU-Singapore trade in goods grew by around 40% between 2009 and 2011 while trade in services grew by 41%.
The EU has a positive balance of trade in goods and in services with Singapore which is also a major destination for European investments in Asia. Singapore is also Asia's second largest investor in the EU after Japan. In 2010, the existing stock of bilateral investment between the EU and Singapore reached €190bn, having expanded rapidly during recent years.
The World Bank’s competitiveness survey has named Singapore as the best place in the world to run a business for the eight consecutive year.
During September 2013 the EU and Singapore initialled a comprehensive draft free trade agreement which is due to be agreed by the European Commission and Council of Ministers, before being ratified by the European Parliament.